This Is Garmin's Top GPS Navigator for Trucks

Garmin's top truck navigator 6 photos
Photo: Bogdan Popa/autoevolution/Garmin
Garmin d?zl OTR1010Garmin d?zl OTR1010Garmin d?zl OTR1010Garmin d?zl OTR1010Garmin d?zl OTR1010
You’d think Google Maps and Waze are the right choices for any driver out there. And while they do serve their purpose just right, and more often than not, they really manage to find a faster route to the destination, all these navigation apps have one major shortcoming.
They are specifically aimed at passenger cars, so if you're looking for navigation in a truck or an RV, you'd be better without them.

In fact, using Google Maps for route guidance in a truck is more dangerous than it seems. Because the application has no idea you're driving a large vehicle, it could end up sending you on narrow roads where a truck doesn’t normally fit.

It happened before, and it'll almost certainly happen again in the future, especially as drivers ignore these basic recommendations.

Fortunately, finding a navigation solution specifically aimed at trucks isn't at all that hard. In addition to dedicated mobile apps from the likes of Sygic, the market also includes GPS navigators developed with large vehicles in mind. Garmin's dezl OTR1010 is one of the best.

Let me start with the first thing you'll see when meeting the device for the first time. The 10.1-inch display makes perfect sense in a truck, coming with touch input for easy browsing. It sports a 1280x800 pixels resolution, and its quality is pretty decent, so you won't feel like you're going back in time or anything like that when switching from your phone.

Garmin d\?zl OTR1010
Photo: Garmin
With a built-in lithium-ion battery that can last for up to two hours of continuous use, the GPS navigator tips the scales at 554 grams, so it's rather heavy. However, you can install it on a magnetic mount that's included in the box.

The device sports 32GB of internal storage, but microSD card support is also available should you want to add more storage. It packs a GPS sensor (obviously!), Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi software updates. As such, you won't have to connect it to a computer to download new maps and firmware versions.

Now let's move to the feature lineup.

As a dedicated truck navigation, it allows you to configure the truck size, cargo dimensions, and everything else about your vehicle. This way, you'll receive custom truck routing, as well as road warnings, including for steep grades. The device offers aerial views of loading docks and truck entrances when approaching the destination, as well as the location of special services, such as resting places and showers, using the Truck & Trailer Services directory.

The GPS navigator also offers split-screen support, so you can keep an eye on the navigation guidance, but also see additional information, such as the weather forecast for your destination. It obviously comes with voice-activated navigation, traffic information, lane assistance with junction view, and driver alerts for sharp curves, school zones, red lights and speed camera locations.

Garmin d\?zl OTR1010
Photo: Garmin
The custom routing engine allows the device to provide information specifically based on your vehicle's dimensions. You're getting not only trucking points of interest, but also pre-pass weigh station notifications bypass decisions, truck-specific speed limits, border notices, and popular truck route data from other drivers.

Because we all know this is critical data, Garmin also developed HOS violation warnings and load-to-dock guidance.

Some features are available only when pairing the device with a smartphone and installing a dedicated mobile companion app. This way, the GPS navigator can access up-to-date data downloaded from the web without built-in Internet support.

And thanks to the connection to a smartphone using the Bluetooth module, the GPS unit also offers hands-free calling. You can therefore answer and initiate calls without taking your eyes off the road, and we all know how important this is for every driver out there.

Sure enough, you can expand the feature lineup even more by adding various other peripherals, such as a backup camera. The device can pair with a wireless backup camera (not included in the package) to let you go in reverse in a more convenient and safer way.

At the end of the day, dezl OTR1010 is one of the best truck navigators on the market, but at the same time, it's also one of the most expensive. While a mobile navigation app like Google Maps doesn’t cost a fortune, getting so many truck-specific capabilities isn't possible without paying (Sygic's mobile solution is also available with a fee).

Garmin's 10-inch model can be yours for $900, and if you want to purchase an extra headset for things like calls, you must spend $300 more. As I said, this isn't an affordable GPS navigator, but Garmin promises top-notch hardware and the best experience you can get in a truck. And, of course, map updates will continue to be provided to every customer regularly, though as many of us learned the hard way already, mobile apps continue to be the best choice in this regard, as they always receive the latest road changes nearly on the spot.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
Bogdan Popa profile photo

Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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